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Philadelphia, September 6, 2011 - It is
well-documented that lifestyle factors such as diet, weight,
physical activity, smoking habits, and alcohol consumption affect a
person's risk for diabetes. Studies have shown that individual
lifestyle improvements, such as quitting smoking, can delay or
prevent the onset of diabetes. However, it is less clear how
multiple changes affect diabetes risk.
Researchers surveyed more than 100,000 men and nearly 1000,000
women aged 50 to 71 without evidence of heart disease, cancer, or
diabetes to determine how combinations of lifestyle risk factors
relate to the 11-year risk for diabetes. Between 1995 and 1996,
researchers surveyed participants and recorded demographic
information and lifestyle factors, including dietary habits, body
weight, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Ten
years later, researchers surveyed participants again to find out
who was diagnosed with diabetes by a physician. Ten percent of men
and almost as many women developed diabetes during the study.
The researchers used original survey information to measure the
association between lifestyle factors and onset of diabetes.
Persons with the best lifestyle factors were about 80 percent less
likely to develop diabetes than those with the worst lifestyle
factors, and the risk for diabetes decreased for each additional
good lifestyle factor.
According to Dr. Jared Reis, a researcher and epidemiologist
with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and lead author
of the study, changes in multiple lifestyle factors can make a big
difference in risk, but even small changes can help.
"What we found was that with each additional life style factor
in the healthy range there was about a 31 percent reduction of risk
for diabetes among men and a 39 percent reduction of risk for
diabetes among women," said Dr. Reis. "This is important because
patients often find it easier to make one lifestyle change at a
time, in order to lower their risk of developing diabetes."
About Annals of Internal MedicineAnnals of Internal Medicine is one of the five most widely
cited peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, with a current
impact factor of 16.2. The journal has been published for 82 years.
It accepts only 7 percent of the original research studies
submitted for publication. Follow Annals on Twitter and Facebook.